A 43-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a freight train while crossing the public railroad crossing on Main Street in downtown Parkville.
At about 6:53 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, a man later identified as Christopher Burdick of Kansas City, was walking northbound on the sidewalk along Main Street and crossing the railroad tracks when he was hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train traveling westbound
Busy railroad crossings that cut though many cities and neighborhoods can be dangerous, and therefore are most often equipped with warning signs, crossing gates, and flashing lights to improve night-time visibility. Parkville Police Chief Kevin Chrisman said the two opposing lane automatic crossing gates, flashing lights, and horns were fully functioning at the time of the deadly incident.
Chrisman said Burdick was struck at the west pedestrian crossing near the edge of the train track.
“He almost made it across the train track and was on the north edge of the tracks when the train caught him,” said Chrisman.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some trains are three feet wider than the tracks.
Before the deadly collision, Burdick, his girlfriend, and girlfriend’s daughter were reportedly having dinner at a nearby eating establishment. After dinner, Burdick had walked his girlfriend’s daughter to her car parked in the English Landing parking lot and was heading back to the restaurant when he was struck by the freight train.
The incident is being investigated by the Parkville Police Department. Currently, law enforcement is reviewing video footage of the collision. The estimated speed of the BNSF train as it entered the city is 45 mph.
On average about 500 pedestrians are killed by trains each year. Pedestrian railroad incidents are the leading cause of death on railways.